Office supply costs for any businesses can add up quickly if left unchecked. With a bit of inventory monitoring online shopping, it’s easy to keep costs low and your budget intact. We’ve compiled a list of savvy office supply shopping tips so your business can start saving right away.
Regularly keep track of inventory.
Going to the store without first going over your current inventory of office supplies is an inefficient way to restock your office. Create a game plan before you step out the door, and map out what you need for at least the next month. If you don’t want to make supply shopping a monthly routine, consider planning on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. New office owners should shop conservative--it’s easier to get more later.
Shop around online before you buy.
Online shopping has made it easier than ever to compare prices on dozens of items with the click of a mouse. If your company doesn’t already have an established supplier, look around and gather quotes from a range of potential suitors before you lock yourself in with a particular contract.
Be on the lookout for specials.
For the occasional one-off item, double check to see if any retailers are running specials or sales. If you have an established relationship with a retailer, check for discounts available for regular customers, especially those who purchase in bulk.
Buy in bulk.
Retailers incentivize bulk purchasing for nearly everything, and stocking up on commonly used goods is a smart way to cut down on costs. Make a list of the items you buy the most and ask your supplier if they offer any bulk purchase options. If a bulk pack doesn’t already exist, they might be able to create a custom bulk set just for your business.
Generic brands are a simple way to save and in most cases, the differences in quality are negligible. Buying generic is especially smart when shopping for pricier items, like furniture and printer cartridge consumables. For example, generic ink cartridges for desktop inkjet and laser printers often cost half as much as name brand items with little or no noticeable difference in print quality.
Factor in shipping costs.
Shipping costs can vary from supplier to supplier. Some companies offer free shipping after you reach a certain dollar threshold and others base shipping off the weight of the product. Delivery for over-sized items may end up costing hundreds of dollars if you’re not careful—so be sure to check shipping terms and conditions before you place your next order.
Reuse and recycle.
Is outdated technology cluttering up your supply cabinet? There are many companies that offer cash back for used technology, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, printer cartridges. We recommend checking out earth911.com, they offer recycling solutions for a wide range of technology supplies and their recycling location finder is a great way track down the right facility closest to your business.
Stocking your small business is easy to monitor with a little planning. Buying smart and only buying what you need are the first steps. Once you've got a handle on that, there's a whole wonderful world of savings you can experiment with!